December 22nd, 2011
Episode 173 of 532 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe. Published in 1719, it was an immediate success and is considered the classic adventure story - the sailor stranded on a desert island who learns to tame the environment and the native population. Robinson Crusoe has been interpreted in myriad ways, from colonial fable to religious instruction manual to capitalist tract, yet it is perhaps best known today as a children's story. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Karen O'Brien, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Birmingham; Judith Hawley, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London and Bob Owens, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the Open University.